Date: November 15, 2015
Officer: Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze
Charged: No charges filed, Officers placed on administrative leave
Jamar Clark was out with his girlfriend on the night of November 15, 2015, at 12:45am, when he got into a fight with his girlfriend. A disturbance call was made to police, and an ambulance came to aid Clark’s girlfriend. One witness claims that while Clark’s girlfriend was being put into the ambulance, he tried to talk to her. The witness continues, saying Clark was then handcuffed and shot in the head. Officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze claim that Clark was trying to grab for their gun, and that’s when Ringgenberg tackled him and Schwarze shot him. They say he was never handcuffed. The Hennepin County Medical examiner says that Clark died of a single gunshot to the head on November 16. He was 24 years old.
The main issue surrounding this case is whether or not Jamar Clark was handcuffed when he was shot and killed by police. The Star Tribune writes, “Of 30 people interviewed after the incident, many seemed to recall the incident differently. Ten police officers and paramedics said Clark was not handcuffed. Two civilians said he wasn't, six weren't sure and 12 said they were ‘certain’ that Clark was in cuffs, though some disagreed on whether his hands were restrained in front or back of his body, or if one or both of his hands were cuffed.” Nekima Levy-Pounds of the Minneapolis NAACP said, “But the reality is whether he was handcuffed or not, how can we possibly justify an officer shooting him in the head when he was already on the ground?”
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) handled the case alongside the FBI launching a civil rights investigation. The BCA found that the officers had tried and failed to handcuff Clark, and he was shot when one of the officers yelled that Clark’s hand was on his gun and the other officer shot Clark. Investigators said that Ringgenberg had tackled Clark to the ground, facing the top of Clark’s back, when he felt Clark’s hand on his gun. Schwarze then shot Clark after a confrontation that lasted less than minute. The internal investigation warranted the use of deadly force against Clark. Chief Janee Harteau said, “I can say with absolute certainty that I support the actions of Officers Ringgenberg and Schwarze the night of Nov. 15.” The officers were delegated to administrative duty for the year that the investigation took place. No charges were filed.
Berman, M. (2016, February 09). ACLU and NAACP sue for video of Minneapolis police shooting Jamar Clark. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/02/09/aclu-and-naacp-sue-for-video-of-minneapolis-police-shooting-jamar-clark/?utm_term=.2216cedeba0c
Croman, J., KARE, & Associated Press. (2015, November 18). Clark shooting: Feds launch probe, ME report released. Retrieved from https://www.kare11.com/article/news/clark-shooting-feds-launch-probe-me-report-released/11630871
KARE 11 Staff. (2017, March 20). Jamar Clark timeline: How did we get here? Retrieved from https://www.kare11.com/article/news/investigations/jamar-clark/jamar-clark-timeline-how-did-we-get-here/89-99906515
Potter, K. (2016, October 22). No discipline for Minneapolis cops in Jamar Clark slaying. Retrieved from https://www.apnews.com/51873689cf63426c89e78ae987479315
Star Tribune. (2016, March 30). What we know about the police shooting of Jamar Clark in Minneapolis. Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/what-we-know-about-the-death-of-jamar-clark/353199331/